ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

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Eyeopener Staff

Clutching their microphones and reciting buzzwords and catch-phrases, candidates for the 2005 RyeSAC executive spoke to a half-empty room at a public debate on Monday. The event, which was held in the upper level of the HUB cafeteria, featured speeches by independent VP finance and services nominee Fernando Rodriguez and candidates running on Rebecca Rose’s and Cristina Ribeiro’s slates.

Rose and Ribeiro stayed on-message as they fielded mostly partisan questions that appeared planted by supporters loyal to their campaigns.

Rose stressed the impor-tance of an open dialogue with the admini-stration, but insisted she wouldn’t toe the administration line.

“Delicate balance (needs) to be struck when working with the administration. You might see me in the administration offices every once in a while, but you won’t see me on the golf green with them,” Rose said.

Ribeiro pledged to work with the Canadian Federation of Students and harped on her accomplishments in RyeSAC this year, but admitted the unpopular plan that gave her and RyeSAC President Dave Maclean free residence and meals this year may have been a mistake.

“I would not be recommending to do it again next year; the lesson has been learned,” she said, but emphasized her own integrity: “I’ve always been accountable, I have a track record of making things happen.”

Rose stressed her desire to empower students to be heard. “I plan to listen to all students and I mean all students, not just those who currently support me,” she said.

Chief Returning Officer Erica Shallow looked impatient and stern as she mediated the two-and a half-hour long event with a firm hand, making sure speeches stayed on time and audience questions stayed clean.

Rodriguez referenced Terry Fox in an emotional, often bizarre appeal for student unity, but conceded he knows little about the inner workings of RyeSAC. He did, however, receive applause for his calls for a united Ryerson.

“I can’t promise you a tuition freeze, I can’t promise auto insurance but I can promise to work with you,” he said, adding later : “It’s hard to believe that a system so dysfunctional can represent your voice.”

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